Kenya History  

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KENYA

The Portuguese came early to Kenya (1498) and dominated the area until the sultans of Oman took control in 1729. Eventually, the British established a protectorate over the region, first at the coast in 1890 and later throughout the interior (1895). By 1920, Kenya held the status of colony, and was inhabited by a large and prosperous British community. Though the Italians briefly took control of northern Kenya during World War II (they came from Italian Ethiopia) Britain quickly regained control and even permitted some limited participation in local government to the native Africans in Kenya. In the 1950s, the violent Mau Mau rebellion emerged to fight against British colonial rule. In 1963, independence was achieved and Kenya joined the British commonwealth shortly thereafter. Jomo Kenyatta became Kenya's first president, and served until his death in 1978 when he was succeeded by Daniel arap Moi. Though Moi's government has been accused of human rights abuses, he has been reelected five times since then. Though Kenya was, for a long time, viewed as an African success story, the last decade has brought with it difficult economic and political challenges, along with violence and corruption. The presence of refugees from Somalia, Sudan, and Ethiopia has also placed a heavy burden on the government.